141 episodes

Ear Hustle is prison slang for eavesdropping, and that’s what listening to the show feels like: a raw, often funny, and always surprising peek into the reality of life inside prison.

Hosts Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods co-created the show that launched in 2017 while Earlonne was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, where Nigel was a volunteer teaching photography. Since Earlonne’s release in 2018, the show has expanded to include stories from prisons across the state, including the California Institution for Women, as well as stories about getting out of prison and starting over, post-incarceration.

From finding romance, to grappling with a life sentence, to trying to parent via 15-minute phone calls, Ear Hustle stories deliver what This American Life host Ira Glass calls a “"very real” and “untragic” take on prison life.

Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at radiotopia.fm and learn more about Ear Hustle at earhustlesq.com.

Ear Hustle Ear Hustle Plus

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 19.9K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Ear Hustle is prison slang for eavesdropping, and that’s what listening to the show feels like: a raw, often funny, and always surprising peek into the reality of life inside prison.

Hosts Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods co-created the show that launched in 2017 while Earlonne was incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, where Nigel was a volunteer teaching photography. Since Earlonne’s release in 2018, the show has expanded to include stories from prisons across the state, including the California Institution for Women, as well as stories about getting out of prison and starting over, post-incarceration.

From finding romance, to grappling with a life sentence, to trying to parent via 15-minute phone calls, Ear Hustle stories deliver what This American Life host Ira Glass calls a “"very real” and “untragic” take on prison life.

Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at radiotopia.fm and learn more about Ear Hustle at earhustlesq.com.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    EH+ Catching up with Isme

    EH+ Catching up with Isme

    Listeners may remember Isme from the season 12 episode "Transitional." She was just out of prison when we first spoke to her, and was motivated to make it on parole so she’d be in a good place to reunite with her children. Earlonne finds out what’s happened in her life in the six months since we last heard from her.Thanks to Isme for taking time out for the followup interview.
    Is there someone from a past Ear Hustle episode you’d like an update on? Email us at info@earhustlesq.comEar Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    Catch a Kite Nationwide

    Catch a Kite Nationwide

    For our latest Catch a Kite episode, we’re taking advantage of a new tool: the electronic tablets that recently became available in 400+ jails and prisons across the nation. Using their tablets, incarcerated Ear Hustlers from around the country responded to listener questions, including: What do people in prison hide from their families? And what’s something that you can only learn from being in prison? Thanks to Alvin, at Muskegon Correctional Facility in Michigan; Silk, at Chautauqua County Jail in New York; Cortez, at Ashland County Jail in Ohio; Darrell, at Pruntytown Correctional Center in West Virginia; Alexis, at Pamunkey Regional Jail in Virginia; Owen, at North Central Regional Jail in West Virginia; Damian, at Neuse Correctional Institution in North Carolina; Chris, at Washington Correctional Center in Washington; Krista, at Leath Correctional Institution in South Carolina; Brandon, at Montana State Prison in Montana; Kelly, at Omaha Correctional Center in Nebraska; Demetrius, at Richard Handlon Correctional Facility in Michigan; Donald, at Two Rivers Correctional Facility in Oregon; Ruby, at Western Correctional Center for Women in North Carolina; and Andres, at Mount Olive Correctional Complex in West Virginia, for listening to Ear Hustle on their tablets and speaking with us for the episode. Thanks to Sophia, John, and Manuel from Los Angeles; Cameron from Boston; Gail from St. Augustine, Florida; and Erica from Centerville, Massachusetts, for calling in with their questions. Thanks also to John Timpone and Meghan Tobin of Edovo for helping us expand our Catch a Kite reach to people incarcerated across the nation.This episode was scored with music by Antwan Williams. As always, we’re grateful to Lt. Berry at San Quentin State Prison for her support of the show. Support our team and get even more Ear Hustle by subscribing to Ear Hustle Plus today. Sign up at earhustlesq.com/plus or right in Apple Podcasts. Our spring fundraiser is here! Learn more and donate: on.prx.org/4d5WnCm Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    • 32 min
    EH+ Ask Amy Anything

    EH+ Ask Amy Anything

    It’s May’s Ask Me Anything episode! This month and for the rest of the summer, Earlonne and Nigel are taking a break and the supporting crew are filling in. First up: Ear Hustle editor Amy Standen. She’ll answer questions from both EH executive producer Bruce Wallace and EH Plus subscribers. How did she get started in radio? Where’s the episode on religion? And, What song does she want played at her funeral? No prep, very little editing (we didn’t let her), and extreme candor.Things mentioned in this episode:The Leap - KQED's podcast, co-created by Amy StartUp season reported by AmyEAR HUSTLE EPISODES"What’s up Michael Freeman" - about the hospice program at CMF"The Preacher"MUSIC“No Children” by The Mountain GoatsGot a burning question for Managing Producer Shabnam Sigman or Rahsaan “New York” Thomas? Apple subscribers: email them to ama@earhustlesq.com; Supercast subscribers: add them to earhustle.supercast.com/ama. Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    Moms

    Moms

    In honor of Mother’s Day, some decidedly un-Hallmark-y stories about incarceration and motherhood. Thanks to Mary Behun, Reggie, and Kat for speaking with us for this episode. This episode was scored with music by David Jassy, Antwan Williams, Fernando Arruda, Dwight Krizman, Rhashiyd Zinnamon, and Earlonne Woods. Big thanks to Acting Warden Andes and Lt. Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Parker, Associate Warden Lewis, and Lt. Newborg at the California Institution for Women for their support of the show.Our spring fundraiser is here! Learn more and donate: on.prx.org/4d5WnCm Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    • 42 min
    EH+ Nadya from Pussy Riot

    EH+ Nadya from Pussy Riot

    In this Ear Hustle Plus exclusive, from an interview we did back in 2020 but never aired, Nigel and Earlonne talk to Nadya Tolokonnikova, a member of the  punk/activist/performance-art group Pussy Riot, about the time she spent in the Russian prison system. Pussy Riot’s protestRussian Penal ColonyEar Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX.

    Hope Lacquer

    Hope Lacquer

    Inside prison, as well as out, some of us cling to stuff and some of us let go. In this episode: two cell-block neighbors engage in a gentle dispute, Tony attempts to Marie Kondo his future from inside prison, and Mesro won’t have his keepsakes disrespected.Thanks to our colleagues and collaborators inside San Quentin — Carrington, Mesro, Sadiq, and Tony — for talking to us about their stuff, and to Tony’s Uncle Eric for welcoming us into his home.  This episode was scored with music by David Jassy, Antwan Williams, E. Phil Phillips, Rhashiyd Zinnamon, Gregory Dixon, and Earlonne Woods.Big thanks to Acting Warden Andes and Lt. Berry at San Quentin State Prison, and Acting Warden Parker, Associate Warden Lewis, and Lt. Newborg at the California Institution for Women for their support of the show.Support our team and get even more Ear Hustle by subscribing to Ear Hustle Plus today. Sign up at earhustlesq.com/plus or directly in Apple Podcasts. (And while you’re there, leave us a review!)Ear Hustle is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. 

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
19.9K Ratings

19.9K Ratings

bugeatmud ,

One of the best

This show is one of my absolute favorites. Nigel and Earlonne are great storytellers and have a strong, respectful friendship with their conversations building off each other.

Ear Hustle tells intimate stories related to San Quentin without being exploitative. They’re sincere, genuine, and just engaging. I was hooked after the very first episode where they discussed how to create makeup while locked up.

veteran podcast listener ,

In my top 10

Everyone should listen to this podcast, it sheds light on the prison system and gives you an amazing perspective on incarcerated individuals

@EarHustle ,

My favorite by far!!!

Since the conception of the show I’ve been a faithful listener. Being a former inmate in North Carolina, I can relate to most of not all topics and have learned how society looks at formally incarcerated individuals. Erlon and Nigel are a great duo and I hope EarHustle last forever!!! Keep up the great work!

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